Today, I passed by Sims Avenue. The road sign brought back a couple of memories when I was in my secondary school days. Mama got to know that Safe Superstore in Sims Avenue offered an installment payment scheme for household appliances through a friend. A very useful scheme especially for individuals or families that couldn’t afford to pay for their purchases in full. Hence, whenever our parents proposed a trip to Safe Superstore, we would beam with great joy as we knew that we would be bagging new appliances home. That scheme had helped to ensure our access to necessities during our growing up years.
On one occasion, I asked mama for a Walkman, a non-essential. At the counter, I was presented with a $100+ and $200+ option. Of course, the more expensive model came with sophisticated functions. I turned to mama and shamelessly asked for the pricier model justifying that would be a better option. However, deep down, I confessed it also gave me more bragging rights in front of my friends. After a short persuasion, mama agreed.
Mama is a market-smart auntie in the eyes of our neighbours. I had witnessed her bargaining at great length in the wet market and rationalising to the stall owners why she even deserved a discount of a few cents. Most of the times, she was successful. But in Safe Superstore, she was a changed woman. Although she was only earning less than a thousand dollars as a school servant and yet, she agreed to part 1/4 of her salary to fulfil a vanity want of her son! Some of you may think succumbing to my plead for a prized toy was an unrationalised decision. Retrospectively, I would think so too. Mama didn’t know that the Walkman that cost 25% of her salary would lose its appeal and would have been kept away in a drawer only a few months later. What she didn't know too was that she obliviously planted the seed to sense gratitude and reciprocity of unconditional love for family members in me, more than 2 decades ago.
Today, the once hard-working woman who slogged most of her life for the family, is getting senile and can't remember a lot of stuff from the past including our experiences left behind in Sims Avenue. *eyes redden* But that encounter and other many things that she did for me and family remains in my memory. So when she behaves like a child and throw her tantrums in our daily battles of power struggle, I dig into my chest of memories to draw strength from the happy times I had spent with her. I am not invincible afterall. On a few occasions, she won and I lost my temper. *Teared*
While I would advise my clients to get yoghurt from the supermarket at a cheaper price if they are watching their spending, I choose to put on the cap of a father and bring my girls to the mall for a yoghurt or waffle treat together with mama every week even though I am watching my spending. However, unrationalised financial decision it might be, the outing is a family affair that I treasure dearly and its value is immeasurable.
What values do you plant in your child?